METABOLIC AND SYSTEMIC CONTROL OF STEM CELL DEVELOPMENT

Link to Lab Website

Recent studies have highlighted that multiple systemic stimuli, in addition to the well-studied cellular programs, are important for stem and progenitor cell development. These stimuli include, signaling and metabolic inputs such as ROS, mitochondrial activity, hypoxia, amino acids, sensory inputs, and signals released from the brain such as neuro transmitters. My own findings, as well as results from other labs have uncovered the plausible mechanistic details and physiological relevance of some of these inputs in stem/progenitor cell maintenance and development.

THE GOALS OF MY RESEARCH INCLUDE

  1. Determining the role of metabolic control in Stem Cell Maintenance Using ES cells and Drosophila stem cells we will investigate the role of metabolic pathways dictating cell fate decisions.
  2. Calcium homeostatic mechanisms in Stem Cells Multiple stem cell types show sensitivity to extracellular environment such as nutrition, hypoxia, injury and others, which can directly translate to changes in their cell cycle profile and cell fate. We will test if homeostatic levels of Ca2+ in stem cells functions as a key sensor and mediator of perturbations in extracellular environment.
  3. Stress Signaling in Stem and Progenitor Cells Current literature on mammalian immunity indicates that infections are less well tolerated under stress conditions. However, the signaling pathways activated upon different stress conditions and the relevance of the stem cell response to the development and survival of the organism are poorly understood. We will genetically define non-autonomous stress responses in stem cells.